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#74 Pilandok, Philippine mouse deer, or Balabac Chevrotain


Cetartiodactyla Week 1

Pilandok is the Filipino name for them. They aren't deer in spite of other names. Their population numbers seem stable, but their range is so limited they are at risk with any natural disaster, invasive species, or diseases that might come their way. They are hunted for food some, and also poached for selling to zoos and things. Unfortunately their scrawny delicate legs don't tend to survive being put in crates to ship. They are endemic to Balabac, and a couple other small nearby islands of the Philippines. The males do get little fang type teeth they use in fighting. They are only about 7" tall at the shoulder. Honestly, they look a bit like a baked potato with a cute huge eyed head tacked on, standing on 4 little toothpicks. To keep the painting looking like a real animal, not as if I am mocking it or trying to make it seem cartoonish, I had to paint their legs a little thicker and give it a bit more of a neck than they really have. I want the animals I paint to be taken seriously, even though I try to portray them accurately usually. The difference between the painting and the reality meant this was one of the most difficult and frustrating paintings I've done in a long time. What I hope it does is inspire you to look them up to see the real animals.

I had a long day, but a great day. I got to get a coffee, and then walk around the school a friend teaches math at. We are going to start a weekly meander I think. She and I met when we were about 7. We hit it off right away. I've always gotten along with her really well. She's very intelligent, I mean she teaches math! Even better though, she's very kind. Plus, she had a sweater on that you want to pet. I remember as a little kid of maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was given a sweater that someone knit for me. I don't remember who it was, she may have been a distant relative. She had a professional knitting machine and could make a sweater in a day. I obviously loved the sweater because I still remember it perfectly. The sweater was so fuzzy that I would sit there in class petting my arms. It was nice because I got picked on by kids, but if I wore that sweater they'd be nice to me. It also was comforting, like petting a kitten. The buttons were white with little flowers painted on them too, and I thought they were beautiful. It is interesting the things you remember from when you were really little, and what you forget.

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